Ben Jonson

"A Tale of a Tub ACT 3. SCENE 7."

Hugh, Preamble, Metaphore.

Hugh.
OBone Deus! have you seen the like?
Here was Hodge, hold thine Ear fair, whilst
I strike.
Body o' me, how came this gear about?

Pre.
I know not, Chanon, but it falls out cross.
Nor can I make conjecture by the Circ*mstance
Of these Events; it was impossible,
Being so close, and politickly carried,
To come so quickly to the Ears of Turfe.
O Priest, had but thy slow delivery
Been nimble, and thy lazy Latine Tongue,
But run the Forms o'er, with that swift dispatch,
As had been requisite, all had been well!

Hug.
What should have been, that never lov'd the Frier;
But thus you see th' old Adage verified,
Multa cadunt inter —— you can guess the rest.
Many things fall between the Cup and Lip:
And though they touch, you are not sure to drink.
You lack'd good fortune, we had done our parts:
Give a Man fortune, throw him i' the Sea.
The properer Man, the worse luck: Stay a time;
Tempus edax — In time the stately Ox, &c.
Good Counsels lightly never come too late.

Pre.
You, Sir, will run your Counsels out of breath.

Hug.
Spur a free Horse, he'll run himself to death.

Sancti Evangelistæ! Here comes Miles!

Pre.
What news, man, with our new-made Purs'yvant?

Met.
A Pursuyvant? would I were, or more pursie,
And had more store of money; or less pursie,
And had more store of breath: you call me Purs'yvant!
But I could never vaunt of any Purse
I had, sin' yo' were my God-fathers and God-mothers,
And ga' me that nick-name.

Pre.
What now's the matter?

Met.
Nay, 'tis no matter. I ha' been simply beaten.

Hug.
What is become o' the Squire, and thy Prisoner?

Met.
The lines of Blood, run streaming from my Head,
Can speak what Rule the Squire hath kept with me.

Pre.
I pray thee, Miles, relate the manner, how?

Met.
Be't known unto you, by these Presents, then,
That I, Miles Metaphor, your Worship's Clerk,
Have e'en been beaten, to an Allegory,
By multitude of hands. Had they been but
Some five or six, I had whip'd 'em all, like Tops
In Lent, and hurl'd 'em into Hoblers-hole;
Or the next Ditch: I had crack'd all their Costards,
As nimbly as a Squirrel will crack Nuts:
And flourished like to Hercules, the Porter,
Among the Pages. But, when they came on
Like Bees about a Hive, Crows about Carrion,
Flies about Sweet-meats; nay, like Water-men
About a Fare: then was poor Metaphor,
Glad to give up the Honour of the Day,
To quit his charge to them, and run away
To save his life, only to tell this news.

Hug.
How indirectly all things have fall'n out!
I cannot chuse but wonder what they were,
Rescued your Rival from the keep of Miles:
But most of all I cannot well digest,
The manner how our purpose came to Turfe.

Pre.
Miles, I will see that all thy Hurts be drest.
As for the Squires Escape, it matters not:
We have by this means disappointed him;
And that was all the main I aimed at.
But Chanon Hugh, now muster up thy Wits,
And call thy thoughts into the Consistory.
Search all the secret corners of thy Cap,
To find another queint devised drift,
To disappoint her Marriage with this Clay:
Do that, and I'll reward thee jovially.

Hug.
Well said, Magister Justice. If I fit you not
With such a new, and well-laid Stratagem,
As never yet your Ears did hear a finer.
Call me, with Lily, Bos, Fur, Sus atq; Sacerdos.

Pre.
I hear, there's comfort in thy words yet, Chanon.
I'll trust thy Regulars, and say no more.

Met.
I'll follow too. And if the dapper Priest
Be but as cunning, point in his device,
As I was in my lye: My Master Preamble
Will stalk, as led by the Nose with these new Promises,
And fatted with Supposes of fine Hopes.

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